Social Security Administration: Amendments to the Ticket To Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, GAO-08-834R, June 2, 2008

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June 2, 2008

The Honorable Max Baucus
The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Finance
United States Senate

The Honorable Charles B. Rangel
The Honorable Jim McCrery
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Ways and Means
House of Representatives

Subject: Social Security Administration: Amendments to the Ticket To Work and Self-Sufficiency Program

Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on major rules promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA), entitled “Amendments to the Ticket To Work and Self-Sufficiency Program” (RIN: 0960-AF89). We received the rules on May 15, 2008. They were published in the Federal Register as final rules on May 20, 2008. 73 Fed. Reg. 29,324.

The final rules revise the regulations for the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, which provides Social Security Disability Insurance and disabled Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries expanded options for access to employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other support services. The revisions are intended to improve the overall effectiveness of the program in maximizing the economic self-sufficiency of beneficiaries through work opportunities.

Enclosed is our assessment of the SSA’s compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rules. Our review indicates that SSA complied with the applicable requirements.

If you have any questions about this report or wish to contact GAO officials responsible for the evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rules, please contact Michael R. Volpe, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8236.


Robert J. Cramer
Associate General Counsel


cc: Paul Kryglik
Social Security Regulations Officer
Social Security Administration


REPORT UNDER 5 U.S.C. sect. 801(a)(2)(A) ON MAJOR RULES
(RIN: 0960-AF89)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

SSA determined that these final rules would result in annualized monetized transfers of $98.8 million (at a 7-percent discount rate) or $102.6 million (at a 3-percent discount rate) from the Social Security trust funds and the general fund to SSA beneficiaries.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 603-605, 607, and 609

SSA certified that these final rules would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. sections 1532-1535

Final regulations under the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program under title II of the Social Security Act are excluded from the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. 2 U.S.C. sect. 1503.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 551 et seq.

SSA issued two notices of proposed rulemaking; the first was published on September 30, 2005 (70 Fed. Reg. 57,222) and the second was published on August 13, 2007 (72 Fed. Reg. 45,191). SSA received a combined total of 128 public comments and responds to those comments in these final rules. 73 Fed. Reg. 29,324. These final rules will be effective on July 21, 2008.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. sections 3501-3520

SSA has submitted a clearance request to the Office of Management and Budget for approval of the information collection requirements under these final rules.

Statutory authorization for the rule

These final rules are authorized by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, Pub. L. 106-170, 113 Stat. 1860.

Executive Order No. 12,866

These final rules are economically significant under the Executive Order. SSA prepared an accounting statement as required under the Order.

Executive Order No. 13,132 (Federalism)

SSA determined that these final rules will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.